Salabhasana is one of the best yoga poses for beginners as it is a simple ‘backbend asana’.The term Salabhasana is a combination of the words ‘shalabh’ (the Sanskrit word for locust or grasshopper) and asana (meaning posture).Salabhasana helps to strengthen the vertebral column, legs, and buttocks and stretches the muscles of the shoulders, thigh, and abdomen. This is why it is why it is one of the most commonly recommended yoga postures for beginners. Basic yoga poses such as Salabhasana are ideal yoga exercises for beginners as these yoga poses are great full-body strengthening exercises that help to relive fatigue as well as tension in the spine.
How To Perform Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
Like most yoga poses, Salabhasana must be performed at least 3-5 hours after a meal and it is preferable that your stomach and bowels should be empty at this time. Even though Salabhasana is an easy yoga pose, you can perform a few preparatory asanas as these exercises will help you warm up and will increase muscle flexibility so that you can perform your asanas with greater ease. You can learn a few Salabhasana prep poses such as Bhujangasana (Cobra pose), Gomukhasana (Cow Face pose), and Virasana (Hero pose) before you learn how to do Locust pose. These prep poses for Salabhasana are basic yoga poses that will exercise the spine and improve flexibility and coordination as well as increase stamina.
Steps To Perform The Locust Pose
1. Lie on your belly with your arms along the sides of your torso. Your palms should face up and your forehead should rest against the floor.
2. Turn your big toes toward each other to inwardly rotate your thighs, and firm your buttocks so that your tail bone (coccyx) presses toward your pubis.
3. Exhale and lift your head, upper torso, arms, and legs away from the floor. You will be resting on your lower ribs, belly, and the front of your pelvis.
4. Firm your buttocks and reach strongly through your legs, first through your heels to lengthen the muscles at the back of your legs, then through the bases of your big toes. Keep your big toes turned towards each other.
5. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and stretch back actively through your fingertips.
6. Imagine there’s a weight pressing down on the backs of your upper arms, and push up toward the ceiling against this resistance. Press your shoulder blades (scapulas) firmly into your back.
7. Gaze forward or slightly upward, being careful not to extend your chin forward and crunch the back of your neck.
8. Keep the base of your skull lifted and the back of your neck long.
9. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute in this position and then release with an exhalation.
10. Take a few breaths and repeat a few times.
Follow these Salabhasana steps carefully and do not make any changes to them. It is important to follow the Salabhasana sequence of steps to maximise the benefits of this asana.
How To Release From Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
To release from Salabhasana, allow your hands and legs to slowly come back to your original position. Rest your forehead against the floor for a few seconds to gather your breath and then bring your palms under your chest, and push upwards until you are on your knees. You can then move into AdhoMukhaShvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose) or you can sit upright and prepare for your next pose.
Salabhasana – Similar Poses
There are a few other poses that are similar to Salabhasana and you can include them in your yoga routine to relieve any tension in your back or spine.
Bhujangasana– Cobra pose
Dhanurasana– Bow pose
Halasana– Plow pose
These poses will enhance the benefits of Salabhasana and will help to eliminate fatigue and lower back pain.
Benefits Of Salabhasana(Locust Pose)
● Salabhasana is one of the best back strengthening yoga asanas as it strengthens the muscles of the upper and lower back.
● This pose also stretches out your shoulders, chest, belly, and thighs and strengthens the muscles of the buttocks, arms, and legs.
● This pose stimulates your abdominal muscles and improves your overall body posture which is one of the main benefits of Salabhasana.
● It also helps to relieve stress and anxiety by calming your mind.
● Salabhasana improves the balance of your body, rejuvenates it and increases its endurance capacity
Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to increase muscle flexibility and body tone while also eliminating stress and anxiety. Yoga for strengthening back muscles has become increasingly popular as most people spend a lot of their day seated and therefore suffer from a lot of backache and pain.
Salabhasana is easy to perform but it can be a little taxing as it is not easy to hold the position for an extended period. Generally yoga beginners face this problem; so if you are a beginner, you can try a few Salabhasana variations – such as clasping your hands behind your back as this will help you retain your balance. The Locust pose for beginners may also consist of the same steps but the amount of time spent in this position is much shorter. Salabhasana also requires mental focus and this is often a stumbling block for yoga beginners. However, with regular yoga practice you will be able to overcome this problem.
Contraindications Of Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
While the benefits and importance of Salabhasana are immense, there are certain circumstances when you should avoid this pose. Avoid practicing this asana if you are suffering from any kind of knee injury or joint pain. Individuals suffering from headache or blood pressure problems should not practice this pose. Since this pose requires you to balance your body weight on your belly, you should not practice it if you are pregnant. If you have any kind of neck injury, keep your head in a neutral position by looking down at the floor.
Tips For Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
If you find it difficult to sustain the lift of your torso and legs in this pose, begin the pose by resting your hands on the floor, a little back from the shoulders and closer to your waist. Inhale and gently push your hands against the floor to help yourself lift your torso off the floor